Aggressive Federer cruises to semifinals in Montreal

RogerFedererCropped

CANADIAN teenager Denis Shapovalov shocked top seeded Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP Montreal Masters tournament, spoiling the Spaniard's chances of returning to world number one.

Notably, if Federer can win in Montreal and outperform or match Nadal's run in the upcoming Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati, he can reclaim the numero uno tag after a five-year hiatus. Even after he fell behind by a set and a break early in the second set he never wavered and never even seemed to doubt that not only was he good enough to lock horns with the German, he was good enough to win. Shapovalov put Mannarino in trouble with a big serve at 30-30, but he rushed an overhead to give the Frenchman the break point.

"I was just swinging for the fences", said Shapovalov, who needed a wild card to get into the tournament.

He'll play Germany's Alexander Zverev on Saturday, with the victor moving on to Sunday's final against the winner of a match between Robin Haase and Roger Federer. The combination of Federer's terrific serve and aggressive, accurate hitting off the ground will be too much for the Dutchman.

"I just kept fighting".

He said he stuck around to watch the match and remembers how Igor Andreev, Nadal's opponent, rolled his ankle but still tried to battle it out, not unlike how Shapovalov himself has been powering through adversity this week.

The men's clashes in Montreal were headlined by a showdown between No. 2 seed Roger Federer and Spanish challenger Roberto Bautista Agut, while a rain-filled women's slate in Toronto featured a compelling matchup between Caroline Wozniacki and No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova.

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"Almost every tournament I've played this year there has been a rain delay so at this point I just have to laugh because I feel like it is following me", she said during a courtside interview after the three hour 26 minute match.

In another round-of-16 action, 18-year-old Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov stunned world No. 2 Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) and stymied the Spaniard's hopes of regaining the No.1 ranking this week.

Federer is 1-0 career against Haase, beating him in 2012 in Davis Cup play. He let a set point slip away with Ferrer serving at 3-5, but Federer served out the second set in the 10th game.

Ferrer's timing from the back of the court was like clockwork in the opening set, as he stepped up onto the baseline and took the match to Federer.

"I have no words, this is unbelievable", the youngster said. If I felt like I couldn't do all these things, it would not be enjoyable or I wouldn't be doing it any more. "After one-and-a-half years, I got back".

Schwartzman saved four match points to upset third-seeded Dominic Thiem in the second round. "I was more committed and a step further in, adjusting my position slightly realizing the ball does fly a lot".

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